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Palm Oil Action Australia | July 27, 2017

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Sample Letters

Sample Letters

Here are some sample letters. We suggest you don’t copy them but use your own words to explain your concerns, whilst incorporating the key points. Add any additional content you would like to include but BRIEF is better. In general, start by stating your concern e.g. I am very concerned about the effects of non-sustainable palm oil production on orangutans / wildlife / rain forests / climate change in Indonesia / Malaysia / Papua New Guinea

Companies who label as palm oil

Thank you for labelling the palm oil in your product________________.

I am very concerned about the use of unsustainable palm oil as it contributes to the destruction of some of the world’s most bio-diverse rainforest, the near extinction of numerous animal species, threatens livelihoods and significantly contributes to climate change. As palm oil is high in saturated fat, it also presents a significant health risk. The WHO and FHO recently found over-consumption of saturated fat is linked to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and obesity. Chronic diseases are the cause of approximately 59% of global deaths per year.

Please help to take action on this. It is your responsibility as a corporate citizen. I would appreciate it if you could answer the following questions for me :

  1. Which of your products contain Palm Oil?
  2. Are you in a position to verify the country of origin of this oil?
  3. Are you able to verify whether the oil comes from sustainable sources, including providing details of the importer, wholesaler and plantations involved in your supply chain?
  4. Can you be sure that these companies are not also involved in oil palm plantation expansion elsewhere
  5. Would you be prepared to look for an alternative oil which is less damaging to health and the environment?
  6. Are you a member of the RSPO? If not, please join immediately and take an active role in promoting sustainable palm oil.
  7. Although your palm oil supplier may be a member of the RSPO, this in no way means that the palm oil is being produced sustainably. This needs to be demanded NOW. The situation for orangutans and our world’s climate is URGENT so please take action on this immediately. You would not wish to be known as being complicit in the extermination of orangutans, or of other Southeast Asian species?

 

Companies who label as vege oil

I am aware that your product,________________ contains vegetable oil and also saturated fat. I understand, therefore, that it is likely that the oil contained in this product is palm oil.

I am very concerned about the use of unsustainable palm oil as it contributes to the destruction of some of the world’s most bio-diverse rainforest, the near extinction of numerous animal species, threatens livelihoods and significantly contributes to climate change. As palm oil is high in saturated fat, it also presents a significant health risk. The WHO and FHO recently found over-consumption of saturated fat is linked to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and obesity. Chronic diseases are the cause of approximately 59% of global deaths per year.

Please help to take action on this. It is your responsibility as a corporate citizen. I would appreciate it if you could answer the following questions:

  1. Which of your products contain palm oil?
  2. How is it labelled?
  3. Would you be prepared to label it as palm oil?
  4. Are you in a position to verify the country of origin of this oil?
  5. Are you able to verify whether the oil comes from sustainable sources, including providing details of the importer, wholesaler and plantations involved in your supply chain?
  6. Can you be sure that these companies are not also involved in oil palm plantation expansion elsewhere
  7. Would you be prepared to look for an alternative oil which is less damaging to health and the environment?
  8. Are you a member of the RSPO?
  9. Although your palm oil supplier may be a member of the RSPO, this in no way guarantees that the palm oil is being produced sustainably. This needs to be demanded NOW. The situation for orangutans and our world’s climate is URGENT.

 

Food retailers/supermarkets

Dear [insert name of retailer],

Please stop sourcing unsustainable palm oil to make your products.

Palm oil is used in many of your food and cosmetic products. When you buy cheap ‘unsustainable’ palm oil you are:

  • Supporting the logging and destruction of some of the world’s most ecologically important rainforest
  • Promoting illegal forest fires that significantly contribute to climate change
  • Destroying the last remaining habitat for many endangered species, including the orangutan which is currently facing extinction.

As a major retailer in Australia. You have an opportunity and responsibility to show leadership in palm oil procurement. We ask that you:

  • Replace palm oil with alternative sustainable oils where possible
  • buy only certified sustainable palm oil that protects forests, preserves livelihoods and safeguards wildlife.

Please, orangutans are on the very edge of extinction. Take some responsibility and don’t have their blood on your hands.

Please inform me of the your outlet’s position on palm oil as soon as possible. I urge you to join the RSPO and take a proactive position on this issue.

 

Cafes/restaurants/takeaway outlets

I have become aware that many food products contain palm oil. The development of new oil palm plantations is devastating life-supporting ecosystems across the tropical world, including the habitat of the last remaining highly endangered orangutans in Indonesia and the Queen Alexandra Birdwing, the largest butterfly in the world in Papua New Guinea. Not only this, the fires burning to clear land for plantations in Indonesia are contributing huge amounts of methane and carbon to the atmosphere, fuelling global warming.

As an important player in the food chain, I urge you to check on all food products used within your operation and establish whether palm oil is present. Often palm oil is labelled only as vegetable oil so you will need to ask your suppliers to ascertain whether or not this is in fact palm oil. I suspect you will be surprised at how many of your products are involved. Then I urge you to ask suppliers/manufacturers the following questions:

  1. Are they in a position to verify the country of origin of this oil?
  2. Are they able to verify whether the oil comes from sustainable sources, including providing details of the importer, wholesaler and plantations involved in the supply chain?
  3. Can they be sure that these companies are not also involved in oil palm plantation expansion elsewhere, where primary rainforest is being destroyed
  4. Would they be prepared to look for an alternative oil which is less damaging to health and the environment?
  5. Are they a member of the RSPO? If not, ask them to join immediately and take an active role in promoting sustainable palm oil. You too can do this.
  6. If you can’t guarantee sustainable palm oil please don’t use it. Try another vegetable oil instead.

When you have done this process you can tell me and your other customers that you only stock products which contain palm oil that is ‘orangutan friendly’, or that you are a ‘palm oil free’ premises.

Please, orangutans are on the very edge of extinction. Take some responsibility and don’t have their blood on your hands.

Please inform me of the your outlet’s position on palm oil as soon as possible. I urge you to join the RSPO and take a proactive position on this issue.

 

Politicians – labelling

This letter is best addressed to the parliamentary secretary for the Federal Minister of Health.

Every hour over 300 football fields of pristine, tropical rainforest is destroyed to make room for the establishment and expansion of palm oil plantations. Huge swaths of rainforesst are burnt to the ground, leaving thousands of innocent animals, including the endangered Orangutan, helpless. Local tribes who have lived in the forest for thousands of years are forcibly removed, often without compensation.

BUT it doesn’t have to be this way. There is an abundance of degraded land and grassland that could easily be converted to palm oil plantations. The only reason companies destroy the rainforest is to selfishly profit from the sale of the timber.

To help support sustainable palm oil, the first step is for palm oil to be labelled on food products. Currently, with no mandatory labelling, consumers do not know if the food products they purchase support this destruction. We have a right to know!

The recent Review of Food Labeling Law and Policy entitled ‘Labeling Logic’ addressed these issues and recommends that palm oil be labeled on products sold in Australia. Could you please ensure that this recommendation is implemented as soon as possible.

I look forward to hearing how soon this can become a reality.

 

Politicians – Biofuel

This letter is best addressed to the Minister for Climate Change, and Environment

I am writing to ask you to urgently introduce legislation to stop the importation of palm oil for use as a biofuel unless importers can provide verification that their production is not contributing to deforestation.

The energy saved from using Palm oil as a substitute for coal is non existent due to the high energy costs involved with transportation and storage. Moreover, clearing one hectare of tropical forest releases between 500 and 900 tonnes of CO2 emissions. As converting a hectare of palm oil into biodiesel saves approximately six tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, it takes 80 to 150 years of production to offset the initial emissions released from deforestation.

I ask you to take immediate action to stop or prevent Australia’s involvement in this ridiculous scheme. The greenhouse gas equations in relation to biofuel must be thoroughly analysed before we can proceed with embracing this technology.

Please could you inform me of the present situation with regards to using palm oil as a biofuel in Australia.

 

Indonesian, Malaysian & Papua New Guinea Governments

Dear Ambassador/High Commissioner,

I am very concerned about the destruction of forests to make way for oil palm plantations in your country threatening important ecosystems and therefore the survival of humankind. Please help to stop the serious environmental consequences associated with new palm oil plantations such as rapid loss of species some of which are highly endangered, release of greenhouse gases, loss of huge areas which store carbon and the human rights abuses which may be occurring in relation to land rights and local people’s involvement in the industry.

Please, I implore you:

  1. Give no further concessions to palm oil companies to clear High Conservation Value Forest and ensure your policing is strong.
  2. Ensure the palm oil industry uses already degraded land to grow their crops.
  3. Restore peatlands which have been drained and degraded.
  4. Recognise the customary rights of local people.
  5. Remove plantations from national parks.
  6. Ensure that members of the RSPO maintain the integrity of its aims and objectives.

Thank you for taking action on this important matter.